Welcome to Fan Chant, a weekly column for K-pop fans, stans, and newbies alike. Each week, I’ll be rolling out interviews, lists, and all kinds of content to keep you in the loop on the latest and greatest from our friends in Seoul and beyond. Also, make sure to subscribe to my companion newsletter!
December always seems to be a time to reflect on the year, and as our Annual Report continues to roll out, I’ve found myself thinking about the joys and surprises that came with being a K-pop fan in the year 2022. Fan Chant launched in August, and it’s been so fun to have a designated place to round up the week’s news and announcements, and I’m so excited to continue expanding the interviews and behind the scenes content here in 2023. (On the note of our Annual Report, be sure to check out my list of 10 K-Pop Acts That Dominated 2022, with reflections from all the groups!)
In looking back at this year in music, and in K-pop specifically, I wanted to round up some of my most favorite interviews and reviews. In January, the stars aligned — I was out in Los Angeles and was invited to a show at The Forum for a group called ATEEZ, who I had heard about, but hadn’t started listening to yet. I left The Forum with my world completely rocked. I spoke to the group a few days later and knew it was all over for me.
In March, I connected with Stray Kids for the first time (but not the last). While I’d been introduced to their music back in 2020, this was my first time getting to experience their dynamic in conversation. I haven’t gotten the chance to see them perform yet — Atlanta ticket holders, let me hear you — but it’s always good to have goals. 2023 is looking bright.
As summer approached, BTS announced their anthology album, PROOF, which also included new track “Yet to Come,” which more often than not made me cry the first few weeks after release? Anyways, shortly after that, I was in Madrid covering Mad Cool Festival when I received word that j-hope had a few minutes to chat about his new solo album, Jack in the Box, if I was interested. It was the last night of a five-day festival and I was exhausted, but you’d better believe I peeled myself out of bed in a hotel in Spain at 3:00 a.m. and logged onto Zoom to speak with him. I have spent the rest of the year gaslighting myself into thinking that this didn’t actually happen, since my brain can’t really put those things together.
Later that same month, I headed back to Los Angeles to catch TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s “ACT: LOVESICK” Tour. These sweet boys are the second K-pop group I really got into, following BTS, and I’ve had the joy of speaking with them many times before. Following their show at the Microsoft Theatre, though, we were finally able to meet up in person for a quick but characteristically lovely interview. They were also game for this cute TikTok:
Full interview with @TOMORROW X TOGETHER coming tomorrow on Consequence ❤️🔥 (including Beomgyu!) #txt #txtmoa #txt_bighit_official
Then, in August, Fan Chant debuted here on Consequence! Like I said, I can’t wait to see where the column goes in the new year, but right now I’m just feeling very thankful for anyone who has read this column or any of the pieces included below.
2022 as a K-pop fan has been a rollercoaster of emotions — thanks for taking the ride with me.